Constant Contact and Mailchimp are two of the best-known email marketing solutions on the market today. Overall, Constant Contact has the edge over Mailchimp, as it accommodates the needs of smaller businesses with simple marketing needs. Side-by-side, Mailchimp lacks some automation capabilities and list management features you’d hope to find in an email marketing platform—but it’s still a viable option for beginners with small lists.
Constant Contact Compared to Mailchimp
Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing services for small businesses. It’s a great option for small business owners who don’t have a dedicated marketing staff, as Contact Contact makes it easy to manage everything on your own. You can use it for basic emails, list segmentation, and marketing automation. Sign up today to start your 60-day free trial.
Mailchimp is trusted by over 13 million business users for its email tools and marketing CRM. It’s a great entry-level email marketing solution for beginners who are just starting to get their feet wet with building lists and communicating with subscribers. Mailchimp really shines for its simplicity out-of-the-box. Sign up for free to get started.
The 6 Best Email Marketing Services
Constant Contact and Mailchimp are just two of the many great email marketing services out there. Our team spent countless hours researching, reviewing, and testing all of the best email marketing tools before narrowing down our top recommendations:
- Constant Contact – Best email marketing service for most
- MailerLite – Best for beginners
- Omnisend – Best for boosting ecommerce with shoppable emails
- AWeber – Best for agencies with advanced marketing campaigns
- Sendinblue – Best for getting unlimited contacts and emails without upgrading
- HubSpot – Best for merging your CRM with email marketing
See all of our top picks here and learn more about how to find the best email marketing solution for your business.
Where Constant Contact Shines
High Deliverability Rates: Constant Contact boasts some of the best email deliverability rates in the industry at 97%, according to its website. This is impressive as the spam filters for email services continue to get more advanced. Constant Contact accomplishes this by providing you with tools to check your spam score before sending out a campaign. This helps you identify spammy subject lines, broken links, poor formatting, and anything else that’s perceived as spam.
Easy to Use: There’s virtually no learning curve to Constant Contact, making it a top choice for small business owners that want to manage email marketing campaigns on their own. Not every business has dedicated marketing staff with years of experience using CRMs. Constant Contact recognizes this and gears its platform for non-technical users. You can sign up, build lists, and start sending emails on day one.
Extended Free Trial: Constant Contact blows the competition out of the water with a 60-day free trial. Other solutions on the market typically offer just 14 or 30-day trials at most. 60 days is more than enough time to test the software to decide if it’s right for you, and you don’t even need to provide your credit card information.
Drag-and-Drop Editor: Customizing your email campaigns is easy with its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. You can start with a template and make it your own by adding boxes, buttons, images, headers, and more, anywhere on the screen. This feature really echoes Constant Contact’s commitment to simplicity. You can also take advantage of a branded template builder that takes your company’s logo, color scheme, and social links to incorporate into your campaigns.
Seamless Third-Party Integrations: While Constant Contact is very simple out-of-the-box, you can easily extend its functionality with over 350+ different apps and integrations. Aimed at small businesses, you can integrate platforms like Eventbrite, Shopify, Vimeo, BigCommerce, and other tools directly with your CRM. This makes it possible for subscribers to make purchases or RSVP to events directly from an email.
Simple Reporting: Constant Contact does not have the most advanced reporting tools on the market. But that’s actually a standout advantage when you consider the platform’s user base. Most small business owners just want to see some basic information about their campaigns so they can draw conclusions about what’s working and what’s not. While you can’t create custom reports, it’s easy to tell how your campaigns are doing without having to spend hours looking through data.
List Management Features: With Constant Contact, you can easily segment and customize your subscriber list based on a wide range of different options. It could be as simple as segmenting the customer by their home store or location. Or maybe you want to add additional details like the contact’s birthday, company name, or website. As you get more comfortable with the software, you might even take advantage of some advanced custom segments, like profiling information, activity tags, and more.
Where Constant Contact Falls Short
Tiered Pricing: Like many email marketing services, Constant Contact charges more money based on how many subscribers you have. So just be aware that your rate will increase as your list grows. Some of the tier jumps are a bit steep, especially at the lower levels. For example, you’ll pay more than triple the price for 505 contacts compared to 495 contacts.
Basic Email Automation: Constant Contact allows you to set up simple automated email campaigns. You can set these up based on subscriber trigger actions, such as opening the message, clicking a link, or selecting a specific link within the email. But Constant Contact falls short compared to other email marketing services because it really only focuses on email automation. Other services out there offer multi-channel automation, meaning a website or social action can also trigger different automated workflows.
Limited Support: All Constant Contact plans come with live chat and phone support, which is a nice touch. However, those support options aren’t always available. Phone support is limited to just 8 am to 10 pm ET Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 9 pm ET on Friday, and 10 am to 8 pm ET on Saturday. Live chat support is not available on weekends. It would be nice for Constant Contact to extend these hours, especially since so many of its users are small business owners who commonly work on email campaigns outside of their normal business hours.
Glitches During Email Design: Several user reviews point to some flaws in the software when customizing templates. For example, embedding videos sometimes extends beyond the intended space within the template. When dragging certain components from the sidebar to the template, the page sometimes gets stuck in a scroll, causing the component to be placed in the wrong spot. These are minor issues but can still be frustrating.
Where Mailchimp Shines
Modern Templates: Getting started sending emails with Mailchimp is really easy. They have a wide range of excellent templates across a seemingly endless number of different categories. These templates are well-designed, modern, and visually appealing. It’s just a matter of choosing your template and customizing the content—no other design work is required on your end.
Customer Journey Builder: Historically, customer journey builders were only offered in advanced CRMs and email marketing solutions. But now, even beginner-friendly tools like Mailchimp support customer journeys through a drag-and-drop map. You can easily customize what type of content is served up to your customers and when. For example, if they buy a product, you can trigger an email and then trigger another message based on whether or not they open that first one of the sequence.
Smart Marketing Recommendations: Mailchimp takes the guesswork out of your email campaigns with intelligence-backed tools and AI. The platform uses over two billion data points to help understand your audience to predict who you should target and when. It helps you predict your customer lifetime values and makes it easier to segment your lists based on the highest-value subscribers. This is a pretty advanced feature for such a simple email marketing tool.
On-Brand Design Tools: Mailchimp’s content studio is the best way to ensure all of your content and templates are on-brand. You can sync digital assets like photos, logos, and other content to make sure all of your marketing campaigns are consistent. Mailchimp’s creative assistance uses smart AI technology to automatically create custom designs for you in a matter of seconds.
Robust Reporting Features: Compared to other entry-level email marketing services, Mailchimp has the edge with its powerful reporting tools. In addition to the basics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates, you’ll also see metrics related to ROI, views, acquisitions, and more. The reporting feature is dynamic and viewable in real-time, so you can see how you’re doing regardless of the campaign’s duration.
Free Forever Plan: Mailchimp has one of the best free plans in the email marketing industry. The plan supports up to 2,000 contacts and up to 10,000 emails per month, which is a really good deal for solo users with a low volume of subscribers. To put that into perspective, you’d pay at least $35 per month for 2,000 subscribers with Constant Contact. For freelancers, personal trainers, or solo entrepreneurs that want to take their email marketing strategy to the next level, Mailchimp lets you do it for free.
Where Mailchimp Falls Short
Unjustifiable Premium Pricing: Mailchimp is an entry-level email marketing service designed for beginners. They do offer a Premium package that starts at $299 per month, but that price tag is tough to justify for the features you’re getting. You get unlimited seats, the ability to have more than 100,000+ contacts, and multivariate testing—none of which are really necessary for most people in the market for this type of service. The Standard plan is more than enough for the vast majority of businesses, and it’s just a fraction of the price.
Pricey Add-Ons: None of the Mailchimp plans come with a custom domain, advanced scheduling, or transactional emails built-in. Each is charged by add-on pricing, starting at $8 per month. Even the Premium package doesn’t come with these services included, which is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Subpar Website Builder: Beyond its email marketing service and CRM, Mailchimp offers several other products to expand your online presence. This includes a website builder, custom domain, and online store. Overall, I’d avoid these products from Mailchimp. They’re extremely limited compared to other website builders, domain registrars, and ecommerce software on the market. It will really prohibit your growth and performance long-term, so it’s best to just use Mailchimp for email.
Restricted Affiliate Marketing: Mailchimp has strict rules when it comes to affiliate links in its email marketing campaigns. Technically, it says you’re allowed to include them. But in reality, most affiliate marketing campaigns are prohibited by Mailchimp’s policy. While this doesn’t affect everyone, affiliate marketers should look elsewhere for an email marketing solution.
The Final Verdict on Constant Contact Compared to Mailchimp
Constant Contact is a better choice for most people seeking an email marketing solution in the entry-level category. It’s perfect for small business owners who don’t have complex marketing needs. Plans start at just $9.99 per month, and you can try it free for 60 days.
Just understand that this low entry-level pricing will increase as your subscriber list grows.
Mailchimp is a solid option for solo users. It has an excellent free forever plan that supports up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month, which is one of the best deals in the email marketing industry.
If you want to get a little bit more out of Mailchimp, the paid plans start at just $11 per month.
For most business users, the Standard plan is more than enough to get the job done. There are better options on the market if you have the budget for a $299 per month Premium service. Mailchimp can’t really compete with those alternatives when it comes to advanced CRM features and automation at scale.
Both of these solutions are designed for beginners. Neither are ideal for advanced email marketing capabilities, multi-channel automation, or advanced customer journeys. But keeping things simple is where both tools shine.
You’ll likely outgrow Constant Contact and Mailchimp once you hit the 50,000 subscriber mark. So if you think you’re on pace to hit that number within the next couple of years, or if you already have a large contact list, you might want to consider an alternative option.
We have an in-depth review and buying guide on the best email marketing services. You should definitely read this resource to learn more about alternatives to Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Check it out before you make any final decisions.